Indians, Asdrubal Cabrera avoid arbitration with one-year deal

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The Indians and Asdrubal Cabrera avoided arbitration today by agreeing to a one-year contract. The Associated Press reports that the deal is worth $2.025 million.

Cabrera was arbitration-eligible for the first time this winter. The 25-year-old shortstop batted .276/.326/.346 with three home runs, 29 RBI, a .673 OPS and six stolen bases in 425 plate appearances with the Indians last season. He was limited to just 97 games due to a fractured left forearm which required surgery.

With Cabrera out of the way, the Indians still have Shin-Soo Choo, Rafael Perez and Chris Perez eligible for arbitration. It will be interesting to see if the Indians are able to make any headway on a multi-year contract with Choo, who is represented by Scott Boras.

Rakuten Golden Eagles sign Jabari Blash

Jabari Blash
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Former Angels outfielder Jabari Blash has signed a one-year deal with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles of Nippon Professional Baseball, the team announced Friday. Per the Japan Times, the deal is said to be worth around $1.06 million. Blash was released from his contract with the Angels at the end of November.

The 29-year-old outfielder has had a rough go of it in the majors, where he failed to duplicate the promising results he delivered in the minors. While he consistently batted above .250 with 20-30 home runs per season at the Double- and Triple-A level, he petered out in back-to-back gigs with the Padres and Angels and slumped toward a .103/.200/.128 finish across 45 PA for Anaheim in 2018.

The hope, of course, is that the environment in NPB will help him get a better handle on his issues at the plate — in a best case scenario, resulting in a full-scale transformation that could make him more marketable to MLB teams in the future. To that end, Blash expects to be utilized as a cleanup batter in the Eagles’ lineup and will focus on assisting the club as they make a run toward the Japan Series.